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GP Week : Issue 26
them something new to cheer for.” “There will be 17 recognisable brands out there,”confirms co- founder Robin Webb, “I’m not sure you can say that about many other categories of motorsport. It’s something we’ll have from day one.” So how is it set to work? Interestingly, it seems, nobody has to pay anything… “The football clubs pay nothing,”says Webb. “They are net recipients. The costs are fully funded by SuperLeague Formula. Initially, the championship will be in a loss situation, but we’re fortunate enough to have secured a very strong investment package – investors who strongly believe this is a concept that will be a success.” “With our investors we can guarantee delivery of the full first season,”Andreu continues. “In season two and three we will need some revolving credits 26 for working capital needs and in season three, SuperLeague Formula will deliver a positive earnings before interest, taxes, deductions and amortisations.” The clubs then will get a cut of the pie through car sponsorship, licensing and TV rights. But there is the matter of a one million Euro prize fund at each event. This, however, goes to the drivers and the race teams who will run the cars. “The race teams are stakeholders in this,”says Webb. “Between years three and five they will be receiving one third of the net revenues, which is a substantial sum. In the early years there will be some investment, but I doubt it will cost more to enter than most other major championships. We’ll be supplying the race car free of charge, which takes a big hit away from them. The engine costs are being subsidised and so won’t be huge.” The dangerous thing in all this is the lack of any real specifics. Webb insists that at present he has as many as 13 teams on his table who want to enter the championship. Although he had initially set himself a 20 car maximum, Webb admits that he is considering raising that level and bringing in pre-qualifying. Hold on … pre-qualifying? “It’s something we only discussed at board level up until a week ago,” Webb told GPWeek. “I think we have contracts which are in place which are five years with the football clubs. So the question would be do they retain a golden ticket and the others coming in have to push? At most circuits we will only be able to take six more cars on the grid due to FIA regulations, but I like the idea of having a qualification and relegation. Maybe we need to think about bringing them all along and letting the fastest ones race. It’s a difficult one, but it’s something I quite like.” Webb may like the idea, but it’s pretty certain the teams won’t. In footballing terms, it’s tantamount to being kicked out of a tournament before the first ball’s been kicked because… well frankly because you’re just not good enough. What chance then for the underdog to win through on penalties and score an unlikely, but thoroughly merited championship success? Nil. Pre-qualifying was removed from F1 a long time ago because it was not financially viable for the teams constantly getting booted. That SuperLeague is already considering such a gimmick should set alarm bells ringing. Ah yes … the gimmicks. Let’s start with qualifying. The day begins with a draw, where each driver in true football style chooses a ball at random to determine if he will drive in Group A or Group B. These two groups then get